How to Illustrate a Kinokuniya Christmas | Guest post by Christopher Cooper
Artist Christopher Cooper talks about his creative process behind our 2015 Christmas campaign.
Books are wonderful things. They are full to brimming with ideas, unique and surprising thoughts and perspectives, knowledge, care, attention, and fascinating imagery. They contain a most extraordinary breadth of human experience. So, illustrating the new Christmas campaign and gently encouraging others to spend more time reading is something I have been very happy to be a part of.
1. Thinking about books
“Thinking about books” is actually shorthand for “confused, informal research process” during which I wandered aimlessly about bookstores, asked Kino management silly questions, spoke to writers and English teachers and editors, and generally fell head first into the internet. I even read a few books. Ultimately, I had to ask myself “Now really, what’s this all about?” I was looking for the thread of meaning that we could wind through the campaign.
2. Drawing those thoughts together
Next I had to create an image or a world that would evoke those ideas. Essentially this involved gathering them up and, in a creative sense, running away with them until they resembled a certain kind of happy nonsense. After a few twists and turns we arrived at the hero image for the campaign – a bright world where, with a little help from a few rascals, anyone and everyone can find the perfect book. (It sounds rather simple put like that.)
3. Letting the world run away with itself
Imagined worlds have a curious way of accumulating their own strange logic. It was the logic of our own imagined Kinokuniya world that guided the creation of the larger campaign. It made way for the the oh-so-serious Colouring-In Department in the Wedge Gallery, a good swathe of store signage, and the playful and vaguely metaphysical Research & Development Department in the store window. Here Kinokuniya’s engineers develop unlikely devices like Rumpel-Stilts, Globetrotters and Runabouts, to match each reader with their perfect book.